SCOTLAND rugby internationals Ally Hogg and Jim Simpson carried the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth games through Edinburgh today as part of its marathon journey across the globe.
The special Indian-styled baton was passed from rugby player to boxer to commonwealth athlete as it travelled through Scotland’s capital.
Delegates from the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi started the relay on Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade, before it weaved through the streets of the Old Town to Princes Street Gardens below.
The two rugby stars were joined by up-and-coming boxing star Josh Taylor, fresh from success in several contests in the Macedonian capital, Skopje a fortnight ago.
Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie said: “Edinburgh can be enormously proud of its contingent of established and up-and-coming Commonwealth Games athletes.“Carrying the baton through the heart of the capital is an excellent way of showcasing both our sporting prowess and our fantastic city.”
The baton will be one of the longest relays in history, being carried 190,000km in 340 days.
The relay was launched by the Queen at Buckingham Palace last week and is to traverse the length and breadth of the Commonwealth for 240 days, before beginning a 100 day tour of India.
Lord Provost George Grubb said that Edinburgh’s Christmas backdrop provided the perfect for the special occasion.
He said: “Edinburgh is a truly magical city and no more so than at Christmas thanks to the wonderful array of festive events on offer.
“It will be an honour to welcome the delegation from XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi and I’m sure they will experience an unforgettable visit to our inspiring Capital.”